A stroke is a sudden disturbance of the blood supply in the brain, resulting in an insufficient amount of available oxygen. As a result of this disturbance, the nerve cells in the affected area of the brain are no longer sufficiently supplied and suffer damage. Along with heart diseases and cancer, strokes are the third most common cause of death and disability in Germany (1) . Men are more frequently affected than women. Strokes become more prevalent with increasing age and typical risk factors (high blood pressure, smoking, elevated blood lipids, diabetes mellitus, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, negative psycho-social situation and other causes).
Symptoms and complaints of a stroke:
  • Sudden one-sided paralysis or loss of strength
  • numbness
  • unilateral hanging down of the corner of the mouth
  • Swallowing difficulties, deviation of the tongue when sticking it out
  • Paralysis on one side of the face
  • Visual disturbances up to temporary blindness
  • Speech disorders up to loss of the ability to speak
  • Disturbances in the understanding of words
  • Balance disorders and dizziness
  • Disturbance of consciousness and unconsciousness up to coma
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • severe headaches.

Every stroke is a medical emergency, which is why those affected should receive professional care as quickly as possible. They should be admitted to a hospital, preferably with a special stroke unit. When the warning signs first appear, it is essential to take them seriously, as within the first few hours the possible damage can be kept to a minimum. If in doubt, always call the emergency services and have the cause clarified. In this case, the motto "time is brain" should be applied!

Briefly recurring symptoms should also be taken seriously. They could indicate a TIA (transient ischaemic attack), which is a warning sign of a stroke.

Prevention and therapy of stroke:

In order to avoid a stroke, patients who suffer from a regression should have the cause clarified immediately! After acute treatment in a neurological clinic, rehabilitation treatment is often necessary, during which the lost functions are trained again. Disabilities may nevertheless remain. However, damaged functions can often still regenerate as nerve tissue forms new networks. Intensive training supports the recovery process.


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